SCHMIDT, Joanne K.

Joanne K. Schmidt, 92, of Springfield, passed on to her heavenly home Monday, June 13, 2022, at Hospice House of Dayton. She was born January 19, 1930, in Springfield, the daughter of the late John and Ruth Studevant. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Martha (Niki) Linder and Hulda Studevant. Joanne was a

lifelong member of St. John's Lutheran Church and a member of Women's Town Club. She graduated from Wittenberg University and received her

Master's Degree from Columbia University. She taught in the Springfield City Schools for 46 years. Joanne's life-long

passions were theater, music, and animals. Her love of theater took her to New York where she appeared in commercials. She organized, directed, and appeared in St. John's Dinner Theaters, a popular and much enjoyed part of St. John's

history. Joanne and her dance partner, Gary Geis, entertained audiences at The Kuss Auditorium in Springfield. What a

wonderful dance couple they made! She delighted in music and enjoyed her piano lessons with Stephanie Smith, a special friend to Joanne, who called her nightly to check on her. Joanne's love and advocacy for animals was legendary. From her cherished St. Bernard's when she was young, to her

beloved Cocker Spaniels (Opie, Britches, and T Bone), to the majestic African Elephant. At the age of 85, Joanne realized her lifetime dream of traveling to Africa where she

experienced the animals in their natural habitat. She was a benefactor for the development of a DNA tank (which bears her name) to protect the African Elephant. Deep gratitude and appreciation for Larry Baker who provided the opportunity for this trip, who protected the woods behind her home, and who ensured her beloved home was safe so she could

remain there until the last few weeks of her life. A special thank you to Vickie Toms, her caregiver. Joanne was a

vivacious and theatrical personality and a woman of great

intelligence, style, and grace. She had an infectious zest for life and a passion for animals, she will not be forgotten. As per Joanne's wishes, there will be no viewing or service.

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